HOW TO STAY WARM INDOORS WHEN THE POWER’S OUT (& IT’S FREEZING OUTSIDE)

FORGET HOME HEATING AND THINK SMALL INSTEAD

Advice for anyone living in a cold climate trying to heat a home when there’s a power outage is to forget home heating and think small instead.

Why on earth would we already start by advising you to forget home heating and aim your goals at thinking small instead?

Let’s get into it!

HOW TO HEAT AN ENTIRE HOME WHEN THE POWER’S OUT

You don’t have many options here, and unless you’re: 1. Set up for these options already, or 2. Willing to drop a lot of cash to set yourself up for them – they’re just not going to work out for you. What are these options?

  1. Use a home heating system that completely depends on wood fireplaces.
  2. Use electrical power generators.

Expensive as hell to do if they’re not already options in your home. Actually, they’re expensive to take advantage of even if they are already options in your home (firewood/gas are not unlimited/free resources!).

With the first option, most will have a fireplace, but that usually will only heat up a single room: the one it’s in.

With the second option, again, most will never bother to have the kind of system installed where a generator heats your entire home.

This is fine though – better than fine actually. Because heating one room instead of an entire home is exactly what you should be doing in a winter emergency where the power goes out.

Why? Heating an entire home in an emergency instead concentrating your efforts on particular things that would be terribly expensive to lose power to – i.e. freezers, fridges, etc.. – well it’s just not wise.

Most would not bother using their generators to heat their entire home ever, and for two good reasons:

  1. This would be very expensive to do in the first place, and
  2. Depending on how long the emergency situation lasts (you never know!), you could potentially run out of fuel for the generator well before the emergency is even over.

So by just using the generator where you need it most (i.e. freezer & fridge, if there’s enough in there to warrant it) you’re saving a lot of money as well as giving yourself the best chance of your generator having enough fuel to last through the entirety of the emergency situation.

Alright, let’s take a look at your most realistic options for heating now.

 

1. CAMP OUT IN ONE ROOM IN THE HOUSE. PREFERABLY A SMALL ONE (AS IT WILL BE EASIER TO KEEP WARM).

If everybody’s in one room with the door closed and that room has got as many blankets, jackets, coats, pets, and whatever else you have at home to keep y’all as warm as possible, you’re going to have a lot easier of a time trying to stay warm by comparison to trying to heat multiple rooms.

When it comes to sleeping, you don’t need to share a bed if you don’t want to, but if it’s not something you mind, why not? If you’re not into sharing a bed, drag extra mattresses or sofa cushions into your room of choice and have everyone sleep separately, but by being in the same room, you’re making sure none of your individual bodies’ heat production is going to waste – it’s helping to keep the room warm.

NO ELECTRICITY/FUEL/FIRE OPTIONS

These techniques will keep your core temperature up, but won’t waste your money, your fuel, or your energy to keep them going. Use as many of them as you’d like, as they all play nice together.

2. STAY IN A TENT.

We all know that being in a tent in cold weather outdoors does wonders for being able to stay warm.

Set up camp inside a literal tent in your bedroom or “warm room” of choice. Sit and sleep in there with whomever is perfectly happy being in the tent with you. Wise to get a big tent that’s large enough to fit everyone in your family, with wiggle room to spare (blankets take up a lot of space!).

Obvious to say the least, but you’ll all be much toastier inside the tent than outside it. And, let’s be real, this’ll help you all sleep better.

3. STAY IN A SUB-ZERO SLEEPING BAG.

Sub zero temperature sleeping bags are a must-have when you’re thinking about outdoor survival for cold weather climates, and again, if the weather’s bad out and there’s no power, you should be using these tools to keep you warm inside. You don’t have to sit in a tent the whole day, but if you just want to warm up, and definitely when you’re ready for bed, it’s an excellent tool to make use of.

4. LINE YOUR TENT WITH MYLAR THERMAL BLANKETS.

We’ve all seen how bushcrafters will often line their shelters with mylar thermal blankets to stay warm outdoors, and when it’s all they’ve got, how just this simple tool is often enough to keep them toasty through some very cold nights.

Still not enough heat in your tent because it’s super cold in your neck of the woods? Chances are lining your tent in these will really help you stay toasty.

5. THROW YOUR BLANKETS AND/OR SLEEPING BAG INTO A THERMAL BLANKET AND STAY IN THAT.

You know they actually make survival blankets in the shape of sleeping bags? Super handy if you’ve not got a great sleeping bag, or of course if it’s still freezing inside your tent.

6. COVER YOURSELF IN EMERGENCY MYLAR THERMAL BLANKETS.

Yes, I haven’t finished with these yet. They seriously keep you so toasty and this step is probably overkill at this point, but if you haven’t got one of the thermal survival blankets I mentioned in the previous suggestion, but want the same effect, or if you prefer to just be plain cooked when you’re sleeping, throw a mylar blanket or two right on top of what you’ve got (a sleeping bag, blankets, thermal blankets, etc.).

Basically, if you’re trying to stay warm in a freezing winter with no power to your home, and you’re doing it on a budget, or with no electricity/fuel/power options whatsoever: treat your indoors like it’s winter survival outdoors. Add layer after layer of thermoregulation-oriented survival gear until you and your family are toasty.

ELECTRICITY/FUEL/FIRE OPTIONS

Sometimes, you won’t feel like turning a room of your home into a hot mess of blankets, sleeping bags, mylar blankets, and tents. Sometimes you’re lucky enough to be able to take advantage of more modern and less budget options. What to do in these cases?

7. KEEP A FIREPLACE FIRE GOING IN YOUR ONE ROOM AND HAVE EVERYBODY IN THE FAMILY STAY THERE.

Easy as pie. Doubt you will need a tent if you’ve got this, though I’d still keep the sub-zero sleeping bags and blankets galore in the room in case someone’s not happy enough with just the fire.

If you’ve got a fireplace in a non-open concept room as well as enough firewood to last you ages, no reason you shouldn’t use this method.

Stay safe, and make sure you’ve got your fireplace properly ventilated, that there’s nothing flammable near it, and if you’re going to bed, put it out or make sure to have shifts where at least one or two people are up to watch it. But hell, a good ‘ol fireplace can really keep you cozy with minimal effort.

8. NO FIREPLACE? TURN ON AN INDOOR-USE GAS HEATER FOR A FEW HOURS HERE AND THERE WHEN YOU’RE WATCHING.

Thomas and I were flat out of luck with no fireplace in our home when the electricity went out that one winter in Toronto. I’m terrible with the cold, so I couldn’t stand our bedroom with just the two of us and our cat in it at night. And yes, we were silly enough not to have prepped enough to have the kind of gear stockpiled that it would take to go the no electricity/fuel/fire options way.

What we did have was a propane/butane heater (like this one), and if I’m honest, not a lot of fuel for it. So we rationed out a few hours of warmth before bedtime, being very careful to ventilate our home by opening a window when it was on and watching it like a hawk simultaneously. About a half hour before bed, we’d shut it off, confirm it was off repeatedly, then sleep.

Not the best option, and definitely not what I’d do now, but if it’s all you’ve got, you make do with what you have. Banging my head on a wall these days for being a prepper who was not prepared for that kind of a situation, but you know – live and learn. And we’ve definitely learned.

THE MOST IDEAL PREVENTATIVE OPTION

In an ideal situation, given we had the money, what would we have done? The absolute best method I’ve found:

9. BUILD A BRICK ROOM-SIZED SHED/GARAGE SEPARATE FROM THE HOUSE AND PUT A FIREPLACE THERE ALONG WITH A GAS COOKER.

You know how comfortable you’ll be there? Our neighbours back in Toronto have this kind of a setup and so when the power went out, Thomas and I quite literally spent every morning and afternoon with them, enjoying our time sitting around the fire chatting away, before sadly hopping off to our cold home for nighttime.

Make sure you build this place large enough that you’ll be able to throw everyone in the family comfortably in at night, and you’ll literally be happy as clams throughout the outage. Obviously, again, make sure to practice fire safety (nothing flammable near the fire, good ventilation at all times, and make sure someone’s up whenever the fire’s going), but pretty much, with as much wood as you can get stockpiled, you’ll be cozy no matter how long the power outage lasts. You’re set as long as you’ve got firewood for the fireplace and enough gas for your cooker.

Living the high life during a winter emergency this is.

Enough suggestions? I think you get the picture. You can definitely stay warm and cozy indoors in sub-zero winter climates when the power goes out. Yes, you and your family members may be driven mad having to spend so much time in a single room together, you may be absolutely covered from head to toe in coats and blankets and mylar tarps, but you said you wanted to stay warm, didn’t you?

MORE WINTER PREPAREDNESS RESOURCES

If you live in a cold climate and are working on buffing up your winter preparedness, take a look at our winter emergency supply list to make sure there’s nothing on it you’re currently missing that you may want.

Besides the items on that list, which primarily concentrate on warmth and indoor cooking ability, there isn’t much difference between winter preparedness and any other type of preparedness. So if you’re interested, also take a look at the comprehensive list of survival gear we put together to compare your kits and at-home resources to.

YOUR SUGGESTIONS FOR STAYING WARM IN COLD WINTERS?

As usual, if you’ve got any tips and tricks I’ve missed mentioning here, let me know in the comments! Would also love to hear about any experiences you’ve had with cold weather during power outages if you have any stories for me!

SHTF Shopping At The Pet Store

shtfpet-store2

Backups to backups and redundancy planning go hand in hand with emergency preparedness right?  So, why shouldn’t you have backups to backups for your SHTF shopping location(s) if the primary is a no go?

After TSHTF, there could be various reasons why trying to get last minute supplies at a grocery/retail store could be very dangerous.  With that thought, today’s post is on SHTF shopping at the pet store.

The good things are that pet stores might not be on the top of people’s list for supplies when TSHTF.  If you really delve deep and scan all of the isles, you can actually find many potentially useful items for emergency preparedness.  With all of that said, let’s take a look at what I found in a local big name pet store.

Here is a list of pet store items I thought could be useful:

Activated carbon – This stuff was found in the aquarium section and could be used for making layered improvised water filters.

Fish antibiotic – (tetracycline hydrochloride 500 milligram powder capsules) – For keeping your fish healthy after the SHTF.

Hand sanitizer – For the obvious reason of sanitizing hands and as a fire-starting aid.

Pet food – For your dogs and cats after the SHTF.  Pet food could also be used as bait for game and fish.  I’ve heard that cat and dog food can be eaten by humans in the short term in an emergency situation.

Stainless steel pet food/water bowls – This would be on the top of my SHTF pet store shopping list if I had no other method of boiling water.

Leashes/straps/chains – Could be used to secure gear or for cordage/lashing.

Pet stroller – I didn’t know such things existed, but they do.   This could be used as an improvised SHTF hand cart for gear.

Hemostat – There could be a variety of potential uses for this in emergency preparedness.

Syringes – Like the hemostat, there could be a number of things this could be used for.

Droppers – After the SHTF, you might have to resort to using your stock of unscented bleach to treat water.  It would be nice to have a dropper to do that with.  Here is a post I did on different methods of treating water: Water: Options For Treating

Scissors – There could be multiple uses for scissors.

Self-stick wrap – If you’ve ever had blood drawn, you’ve probably had it wrapped with self-stick wrap afterwards.

Water proof food containers with a gamma style lid – This could be used as a dry box.

Hypoallergenic pet wipes – These are basically the pet version of baby wipes.

Dog beds – These could be used for insulation and warmth.

Linked from: http://allpreparedness.com/shtf-shopping-pet-store/

How To Make Survival Foods For Your Dog

A dog is a man’s best friend, or at least that’s what they say. It’s one of those popular wisdom kinds of things. If you ask me, a man’s best friend is his own conscience and set of skills, but we’re not trying to be philosophical, so let’s stick to dogs.

So, what do dogs and survival have in common? Well, dogs were domesticated thousands of years ago and they helped humanity a lot in terms of survival. In this case, by dogs I mean big ones, not Chihuahuas or cat-sized companion dogs, but the real deal, like a German Shepherd or a Rottweiler.

Dogs were used as avant la lettre alarms and early warning systems for protection(against wild animals for example or even in combat) and for herding and hunting. Naturally, in a SHTF situation, having your dog close, alive, happy and well-fed would be a great achievement.

Dogs can help with finding victims in the aftermath of a disaster, they can help you find food and water and they have an acute sense of orientation, so they can lead you home if you get lost. Dogs also keep you company, preventing loneliness and so on and so forth.

Basically, dogs are cool to have around, especially when it comes to survival situations. Okay, I am aware about a school of thought in the prepping community, a survival debate about “to dog or not to dog”.

Truth suffers if it’s over-analyzed, soyou’ll have to decide for yourself if a dog would be too much in a survival situation; if it would be another thing to take care of or vice-versa (if you ask me, Ithink that the advantages of having a real dog in a SHTF situation outweigh the disadvantages).

In a SHTF scenario, you’ll be confronted with a lot of your own problems, so, what about your furry friend?

Today’s article will explore some options and scenarios involving survival foods for your dog. If you think that dog food is irrelevant in a survival situation, check this out: you can eat dog food if S really HTF. So, prepping with food for your precious companion is a double bang for your buck in terms of surviving. I bet you didn’t think of that before, did you?

Now, that we’ve established a clear premise, i.e. that you’ll still own a dog in the aftermath of the apocalypse, let’s explore a few possibilities in terms of survival dog food.

How and What to Feed Your Dog when SHTF?

The question becomes how and what to feed your dog when there’s no food at the pet-stores or in the groceries.

You have to realize that there were dogs around a long time ago, before Purina started making billions of dollars selling pet-food. Your grand-grandfather still had dogs and he fed them on a daily basis (hopefully). Therefore, so can you.

Dog nutrition is not rocket science, I mean our ancestors fed their dogs mostly with table scraps or they cooked their dog food using their own “recipes”. Back in the day, there weren’t hundreds of varieties of dog food at Wal-Mart for different types of dogs. For example, there was no special food for grumpy, lazy, fat, or thin specimens, like there are in present times.

Where am I going with this rationale, you may ask? Well, there are two possibilities for prepping with dog food for when SHTF; that’s what I am talking about.

The first option:  You can prepare for a bleak future with commercially available dog food. Stock it up to make provisions for your dogs. Dried dog food has up to ten years of shelf life, not to mention those “deluxe dog survival kits” and what not which can outlive the pyramids.

If you store the dried dog food properly, in a well-sealed container and in an optimum environment (stable temperatures, low humidity, no sunshine) I bet it will be still edible after more than a decade. The best thing about storing dried dog food is that you can eat it too, in case of emergencies. I mean, it’s better to eat dog food than to eat your dog or starve to death, isn’t it folks?

You can also prepare with specially formulated survival dog food, which is usually packed for long term storage in special Mylar bags that come in rodent-proof, water proof, stackable plastic buckets. It will cost you a few hundred dollars, but you can consider it an investment in your future (yours and your dog, that is).

The second option: Play it old school, like the founding fathers did. Making your own dog food is so simple that you’re going to ask yourself why you spent thousands of dollars until now on specially formulated, heavily processed, specially designed pet-chow instead of this.

How to Prepare a Complete Meal for Your Furry Friend

The most important thing to remember in this business is that dogs are omnivores just like us, not carnivores. That means they can be fed with virtually anything you eat. Okay, maybe except chocolate (it’s toxic for dogs because they lack an enzyme to digest it properly), coffee and cigarettes.

Dogs can be fed using all sorts of stuff beside meat. If you take a look at the listed ingredients in a dog food bag, you’ll understand the concept behind dog food. It’s a mixture of heavily processed meat (scraps, I bet) and veggies, plus synthetic vitamins and minerals. Feeding a dog with a protein-rich diet (meats mostly) will make him more aggressive and hyper active, so you must try to achieve an optimum balance of protein, carbs and fiber.

The most simple and nutritious recipe for DIYing dog food at your home is a mixture of rice (brown or white), protein (pork, chicken, game, tuna, beef or even eggs) and vegetables (peas, beans, carrots, or a mixture of these). The ingredients can be mixed roughly in thirds; I mean one part protein, one part veggies and one part rice. If you have a very active dog, you can put more rice in the mix.

The cheapest rice (also suitable for storing a long time) is available in places like Costco or other retail outlets (Amazon.com is a good idea too) and you should buy 25-50 pounds at once because it’s the most inexpensive solution.

Another reason to buy in bulk is that you can eat rice too. It’s quite nutritious, especially brown rice.  Rice and beans cooked together make for a complete protein i.e. a highly nutritious survival-food and, just like rice, dried beans can be stored for a long time and they’re dirt cheap if bough in large quantities.

The meat part is a tad more difficult; I mean if you want to store meats long term, you have two possibilities: to can them or to freeze them. The latter doesn’t have much to do with survival, as I imagine electricity would be the first thing to go when SHTF, so you’ll end up with large quantities of defrosting meat which will be inedible in a matter of hours or a couple of days.

Therefore, you’ll have to resort to canned meat, which is not as hard as it sounds. And you can make your own supplies in the process, that’s the “bang for your buck”  part I was talking about in the preamble of the article.

For my dog, I would try to can organ meats, as they’re highly nutritious and also very cheap. There’s another possibility: prepare large quantities of dog food using the aforementioned recipe, and can it for long-term storage.

Canning implies having a lot of glass-jars filled with the respective stuff (meats/prepared dog food) and using one of the two methods: boiling water bath or pressure caning. The boiling water method is the most simple and cheap, and boiling kills all the food induced illnesses and microorganisms that are abundant in most of the regular foods.

The pressure canning method requires a special device and it does basically the same thing, but using higher temperatures and pressures than the first method.

Obviously, in case of an emergency you can always feed your dog with leftovers or food scraps from your dinner; he won’t mind a bit, assuming that you actually have ingredients to make your own dinner.

If you have other ideas or methods about making or storing survival dog food, feel free to share them in the comment section below.

Training Your Dog For Survival

There are millions of people out there who would never leave their dogs behind in any emergency situation if they can help it.  That is wonderful and that sort of love and loyalty is to be commended.  So I ask, why not take it one step further and train your dog to benefit you in a survival situation?

Dogs have natural survival instincts already in them so there are some things you do not have to worry about.  It has been my experience that the majority of dogs can assess a dangerous situation and let the owners know by barking at the threat.  Teaching your dog to speak, or to be quiet, is not as hard as you think and can mean the difference between life and death in a survival situation.  If you do not want someone to know your location then being able to keep your dog quiet on command is of the utmost importance.  If you are in a situation where you need to be found then having a dog that can alert others on command is very important.

No matter what you are training your animal to do you must always remain patient when training.  Dogs can sense aggravation and may become scared or timid.  This is not what you want.  You want training time to be fun.  Most dogs live to make their owners happy and are more responsive and willing to do what is asked with positive reinforcement training.

In order to teach your dog to be quiet, you must also teach your dog to speak.  The two commands go hand in hand.  For this reason we begin by teaching the dog to speak.  Practice these steps 1-2 times a day for about 5-10 minutes.  Anything longer than that usually results in boredom and then is no longer fun for your dog.

Speak Command;

  • Invoke a situation that will get your dog to bark, such as knocking on the door.  When someone knocks and the dog barks say in a firm commanding voice, “Speak,” and when he/she barks immediately give him/her one treat and lots of praise such as, “Good girl” in an excited voice.
  • Repeat this process until you can gradually stop using the door knocking to get your dog to bark.  Once the dog has mastered the speak command then he/she is ready to learn the “Quiet” command.

Quiet Command:

  • Place your dog on a leash and give him/her the command to bark.  When he/she does, then give the dog one treat.
  • Do this several times in a row.
  • After 4-5 times of barking, quickly tug on the leash and give the command “Quiet” or “Hush.”  When the dog stops barking quickly give him/her threetreats in a row.  By giving the dog three treats the dog learns that being “quiet” has a higher treat value than bark does.
  • Repeat these steps 4-5 times in a row and then take a break making sure to praise and reward the dog for good behavior.  Toss around a ball or his/her favorite toy.
  • Do this until the dog no longer needs the leash corrections to follow the Quiet command.
  • As the dog progresses, stop giving treats for the speak command and give one treat for the quiet command.

OBEDIENCE REVIEW

Whenever possible, your dog will try to get away with as much as possible.  If you start to slack off with obedience practice, your dog will soon forget all the commands you’ve taught him.  It is better to practice five minutes a day than to randomly do it every few weeks.  When your dog behaves perfectly on a consistent basis, then you can start to get a little lazy.  But if you notice a bit of attitude or stubbornness, get right back into a routine of practicing obedience before things go too far and are harder to fix later.  Here are a few tips on how to practice obedience with your dog.

  • Don’t repeat commands more than twice.
  • Use his name first, then the command.
  • Take your time.  Most dogs, especially young ones, are already in an excited state.  Teach them to relax and slow down.
  • Do obedience with the dog on your left side, not in front or behind you.  By having him in a consistent position, you can be more aware if he’s creeping ahead or lagging behind.  It’s also easier to correct a dog that is at your side, rather than being slightly ahead or behind you.
  • Praise your dog when he is in the correct position, even if you had to physically help him into the position.
  • Use a low, firm tone of voice.
  • Pick a release command, such as “Okay!” to let him know when he is done with a command.

There should be a clear separation between giving a command and giving a correction.  Give the command. Wait three seconds.  Then correct him, if necessary.  If your dog waits until you start to give a correction before doing the command, follow through with the correction anyway.  Otherwise you will continually have to start to correct before the dog performs the command, rather than the dog automatically performing the behavior when he hears the command.

These commands were learned through Animal Communications Institute.

There are training tools you can use to help you in your journey to having a well trained dog.  I have listed some examples below.

  1. Prong collar:  This collar looks mean but I assure you it is safe and will not hurt the dog.  It is designed to simulate how a mother dog would correct her pup if she didn’t want the dog doing something by grabbing the fur around the neck and pulling back by the loose skin.  A safe and effective alternative to choker collars, it puts even pressure around the neck, about every half inch, pinching the skin in a band.  This collar does not apply direct pressure to the trachea so you can train your dog with little or no tugging, jerking, or pulling.  (Note: We have and train pit bulls to the best of our ability and this collar has been very effective in teaching them how to not pull us when on the lead and due to their massive size, it is needed.)
  2. Vibration collars:  These collars give momentary burst of pre-measured stimulation to get your dogs attention if he is distracted; it gives electrical stimulation for as long as you hold the button down, up to eight seconds; and page causes the collar to vibrate for non-electrical stimulation.  There is often a shock feature on these types of collars as well.
  3. No- Pull Dog Harness:  Self explanatory.
  4. Basket Style Muzzle:   There are some dogs out there that can be unpredictable around strange people so for their safety and your dog’s safety you may consider owning one of these.  This high ventilation quality muzzle can be very useful in many situations and everyday use – visits to a vet, traveling, off-leash walks, preventing eating off the ground, yet allow for panting and drinking, providing the ultimate in comfort and safety for both the dog and owner or trainer.  Well-fitting, light weight, soft and comfortable yet strong and durable.  Safe and non-toxic.  The straps are adjustable and won’t stretch.  Please measure snout circumference and length for fit.

When there is a natural disaster hitting such as a tornado or hurricane the last thing you want to be doing is calling/searching for your dog.  Obedience training can eliminate this so that your dog stays with you unless told otherwise.  I encourage all pet owners to think about what all your dog is capable of learning that can benefit your safety and theirs.

Things I Wish I Knew Before Camping with My Dog

If you are like us, your dog is a big part of your life (she is our furbaby). If we could, we would take her on vacation with us everywhere we go. Okay, I would… not sure about my husband. When our beagle, Honey, was around 2 years old, we took her camping with us. I had no clue about camping with a dog, and learned a lot from the experience! Here are a few things I wish I had known before taking her camping with us.

Tips for camping with your dog

Leash, leash, leash!

At the time we took her camping, Honey was doing really well with staying close by us at all times. I didn’t have any reason to think she wouldn’t when we went camping. Wrong! Picture Dug the Talking Dog in the movie Up. You know how he will be talking and then suddenly say “squirrel” and look in another direction? This was Honey – times 100. Most of the time, she was fine and just hung by us. Then, she would see or smell something and run off.

Lesson learned: Keep your dog on a leash. Most pet-friendly campsites will have this as a rule anyway. Bring two leashes – a shorter one for hiking and a longer one for around the camp so your dog can wander a bit.

Stay on schedule

Dogs are creatures of habit. Although you may dine later in the morning and evening while on vacation, your dog will not. Yep, Honey had us up at the same time we would get up for work. Not fun!

Lesson learned: keep on the same feeding schedule. Or, you could slowly change your dog’s feeding schedule before you leave to go camping. That way your dog will let you sleep in while camping.

Stinky dog

While camping and hiking, your dog will get dirty and smelly just like you. When we took Honey camping, she would come into the tent to sleep and puffs of dirt would come off of her as we pet her.

Lesson learned: bring grooming supplies. Pack a brush, towel and even some dog shampoo – never know what your dog will get into! A brush or comb will also be helpful when looking for any ticks that may latch on to your dog while hiking.

Keep things familiar

Just like you should stay on schedule, you also want to bring things from home that will help your dog feel comfortable. All new surroundings can overwhelm them.

Lesson learned: bring your dog’s bed and/or a couple of favorite toys from home. This will help with the adjustment to the new surroundings.

Bug Out Bags for Your Beloved Pets

When we consider bug out bags (72 hour emergency kits) for each of our family members we often don’t consider that each of our pets need one too. Anything can happen at any given time and when that time comes my pets are coming with me…and they’re coming prepared like the rest of the family. Below are lists of things to consider for your pet’s bug out bag.

What items to consider for your dog

  • Vaccine/Medical records with owner contact information
  • Dog food with bowl (for can food make sure to include a can opener and a spoon)
  • Dog treats
  • Water with bowl (Your dog should have 2.5 oz of water for every 1 oz of food)
  • Protective clothing (raincoat and/or regular coat)
  • Dog bed (with a blanket for extra warmth)
  • Carrier with handle (collapsible if possible)
  • Collar with I.D. tag
  • Leash/Harness
  • A tie out (you never know when you may have to secure your pet)
  • Muzzle
  • First Aid Kit
  • Daily Medications
  • Clean up supplies (baggies, trash bags, etc)
  • Grooming supplies (optional)

What items to consider for your cat

  • Vaccine/Medical records with owner contact information
  • Cat food with bowl (for can food make sure to include a can opener and a spoon)
  • Cat treats
  • Water (Your cat should have 2.5 oz of water for every 1 oz of food)
  • Protective clothing (for example, a cat sweater)
  • Cat bed (with a blanket for extra warmth)
  • Carrier with handle
  • Collar with I.D. tag
  • First Aid Kit
  • Daily Medications
  • Litter Box/Pan with litter
  • Clean up supplies (baggies, trash bags, etc)
  • Grooming supplies (optional)

A medium sized bug out bag for each pet will typically fit everything your dog or cat will need with the exception of the pet carriers. You can even buy a doggie backpack for a bigger dog to carry.You may also consider a single, much bigger bag to include all of the items for every pet in the home. It may seem like alot of items but it’s well worth it for the safety and well being of your beloved pets.

For longer term survival situations consider “adding extra” on some items such as food, treats, water, clothing, blankets, first aid, kitty litter, and clean up supplies. Sometimes you don’t know that a survival situation is longer term until you’re actually IN a survival situation. So planning beyond the 72 hours for each family member’s emergency kit  is something to seriously consider.

Always remember this one important rule when it comes to survival, a motto I live by… It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

Saving Pets During Disasters

Keeping your beloved pets safe is a real duty because they are members of your family. Your pets provide comfort and companionship and they shouldn’t be left behind when disaster strikes. Saving pets during disasters is not easy and you should be prepared for the worst.

saving-pets

Keeping your beloved pets safe is a real duty because they are members of your family. Your pets provide comfort and companionship and they shouldn’t be left behind when disaster strikes. Saving pets during disasters is not easy and you should be prepared for the worst.

Many of us have one or two pets that we love and cherish as if they are members of our families with equal rights. They provide unconditional love and we should protect and threat them with respect. A pet is not just a joy of the moment, is a companion you get for life.

Regardless of what disaster may strike the area I live in, I can’t think of living my dog behind and I can honestly say, I will do everything in my powers to keep it safe. A pet is an important emotional support (especially if you have kids) and it can make your life easier when things go south. Learning about how to save your pet during a disaster will provide some peace of mind and it will make sure your family is complete and ready to face whatever the future may bring.

Saving pets during disasters – Rules to follow

Planning your evacuation

Every emergency evacuation needs a plan and every plan needs to include all your family members. Your pets should be taken into account when making your evacuation plan. You should plan the routes and the time when you will evacuate. You should have a bug out location and you should make sure it can accommodate your pets. If you plan to use shelters for humans, you must know that not all shelters will allow pets and honestly, if you go to such shelters, you are already doing something wrong. If you don’t have a bug out location of your own, it’s better to go to friends or relatives that live outside the evacuation area. These are safer possibilities and they will not say no when it comes to your pets.

Know the favorite locations of your pets

During a disaster, most pets will run and hide in their favorite “safe heaven”. Every pet has a favorite hiding place and you should know about it. If disaster strikes your area, you will know where to look for them and you will not lose precious time. Saving pets during disasters will become almost impossible if you don’t keep your pets inside and if you’re not aware where they might hide.

Bug out bag or gear to go

Most preppers owning a dog are preparing a bug out bag for their trusty companions as well. You have to make sure that you have adequate pet gear for all your pets. Proper gear that can be carried without struggling and without slowing you down. Just a few suggestions: A collar and a leash, a portable kennel, bowls and toys, first aid and waste cleaning supplies. The list may go on and it all depends on the type of pets you have. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, your pet should have everything it needs for the road and all the supplies should be marked with your pet’s identification.

Food for the pets

Emergency preparedness requires for you to pack food and water for your family. Since your pets are also members of your family, you shouldn’t forget about them. You should pack a three-day to three-week supply of food and water for your pet and you should learn about their habits and behavioral issues. Writing down a brief explanation of your pet’s routine will help everyone, especially if your pet may receive care from someone who isn’t familiar with their behavior.

Pets healthcare

Every pet you own should have the vaccinations and veterinary records current, especially the most recent proof of rabies vaccinations. If your pet requires medications, you should keep a few days’ worth of in your bug out bag. Making sure your pet has a good health is vital during a disaster. The last thing you need is to deal with an ill pet when your family is going through some hard times and when morale is low.

Rescue teams

A disaster might strike when you’re far away from home and chances are you might not reach your home soon. Placing a pet rescue decal on your front door or window is indicated in this case and it will give your pets a chance for survival. Such decal will alert first responders to the possible presence of a pet in your house. Information about your pet’s behavior, medical needs and veterinarian’s contact information should be left as well for the rescue teams. You should also carry a picture of your pet in case you become separated for them in an emergency. It will help first responders recognize your pet and provide info about it.

ID tags are a must

Your pets should always wear the correct and most up-to-date identification. It can be a microchip or a collar identification tag. Anything that makes the connection between you and your pet will help reunite them with your family. Identification is important when saving pets during disasters.

Saving pets during disasters might seem useless for some and there are those who say it’s not worth it. However, if you’ve ever had a pet, you will agree that pets are just like family members and they worth all the trouble. Pets provide you with unconditional love, they protect you, they make you feel better when things are rough and they shouldn’t be left behind.